Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060

We benchmark Prey at 1080p and 1440p on the AMD Radeon RX 580 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060... but who wins? Let's see.

Published May 25, 2017 4:13 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
4 minute read time


If there is a hot game out right now, it would have to be the newly-rebooted Prey from Arkane Studios and Bethesda. The team at Arkane have crafted a first-person shooter that feels like System Shock and BioShock mixed together, with some new tweaks on the enemies in the game, and the setting in which you play: space.

The main reason that Prey looks so good is that Arkane Studios powered the game with CryEngine, and it is a re-imagining of the 2006 release of Prey from Human Head Studios, with Arkane building Prey as a spiritual successor to System Shock.

Prey has been heralded as one of the best games of 2017 so far, and in a world where we haven't had a System Shock game for over a decade, and without a new BioShock game - and after the disappointing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Prey is here in great form.

Built With CryEngine

Arkane Studios built the world of Prey inside of Crytek's beautiful CryEngine, seeing you controlling a first-person shooter in a sci-fi thriller setting with aliens that have taken over the Talos I space station.

If you remember the original Crysis, and all of the #canitruncrysis hashtags and memes since the mid-2000s, Arkane hit a home run with CryEngine with Prey. It's an incredibly well-optimized game that runs beautifully smooth on even mid-range graphics cards like the Radeon RX 580. Maintaining 60FPS+ at 1080p and 1440p isn't a problem, and that's something that Arkane should be applauded for.

Another benefit is that we might be getting to a point where more game developers will start using CryEngine since the engine is optimized in Prey. You don't need a GTX 1080 Ti or AMD's upcoming Radeon RX Vega to run Prey at over 60FPS, or on Ultra graphics settings. Crytek could benefit more than Arkane here, where I hope more game developers start working with CryEngine.

Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060

We decided to check out the game on AMD's latest Radeon RX 580 graphics card while stacking it up against two GeForce GTX 1060 graphics cards. The first is NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, while we also tested MSI's new GTX 1060 Gaming+ with the overclocked 6GB of GDDR5 @ 9Gbps, compared to the 6GB of GDDR5 @ 8Gbps on the GTX 1060 FE.

This gives us a perfect spread across the 1080p and 1440p resolutions, while we also ran Prey at both Medium and Ultra visual settings. I left out 4K and 3440x1440 because these cards aren't something I'd recommend for those resolutions, but we'll be doing a follow-up article with GTX 1070, GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti and TITAN X(p) results.

Test Bed Specs

Test Bench Specs

For our Prey benchmarking, I used my Ryzen 7 1800X workstation/gaming build. Inside, we have the ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, one of OCZ's amazing 1TB RD400 M.2 SSDs, Corsair's AX1500i PSU, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 01

The heart and soul of the machine: the ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 02

AMD provides the brains for our Prey benchmarking system, with their Ryzen 7 1800X processor.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 03

The 1TB OCZ RD400 M.2 SSD is absolutely amazing, a must-have for enthusiasts that pushes 2600 MB/sec.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 04

Look how small it is!

Benchmark @ 1080p

I thought I'd provide both of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 graphics cards, with the official GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6GB of GDDR5 @ 8Gbps and MSI's overclocked GTX 1060 Gaming+ with its 6GB of GDDR5 @ 9Gbps.

The new GTX 1060 9Gbps model is the card that NVIDIA has pitted against the Radeon RX 580, and in most games it provides a nice bump in performance over the stock GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition from NVIDIA.

Prey @ 1080p Ultra Settings

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 20

SAPPHIRE provides the chops for 120FPS+ average in Prey on the Very High preset at 1080p, beating out the GTX 1060 FE.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 22

But when the overclocked GTX 1060 from MSI with 9Gbps GDDR5 hits the benchmark chart, the RX 580 loses by 6FPS.

Benchmark @ 1440p

Prey @ 1440p Very High Settings

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 21

If we compare the stock GTX 1060 FE with its 8Gbps GDDR5 against the overclocked SAPPHIRE RX 580, the RX 580 wins by 4FPS with 74FPS average.

Prey benchmarked: Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 23

74FPS average at 1440p is not too shabby at all, as we want 60FPS+ at all times... but the GTX 1060 9Gbps pushes a damn decent 85FPS at 1440p VH details.

Final Thoughts

Prey is one of the best looking games out right now thanks to it being powered by CryEngine, and AMD has positioned itself damn well with the Radeon RX 580. At 60FPS+ on 2560x1440 is absolutely perfect, and 120FPS+ at 1080p is amazing for a mid-range graphics card.

NVIDIA holds its own with the stock GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, but the overclocked SAPPHIRE RX 580 Nitro+ is quite a beast in comparison. The new GTX 1060 with its 6GB GDDR5 @ 9Gbps is a new release, and beats the RX 580 - but AMD has some nice tricks up its sleeve which make the Team Red purchase a much sweeter one.

You can get the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ on Amazon for $270, the same price as the new GTX 1060 with 9Gbps. The decision between the two? That depends on what you've got, and what you plan to upgrade in the near future - if you plan on upgrading, that is.

If you are going to buy a gaming monitor along with the new graphics card, then I would suggest the Radeon RX 580, thanks to FreeSync monitors being cheaper. For example, a ViewSonic 24-inch 1080p FreeSync monitor is just $139.99 right now, which is just ridiculously cheap compared to competing NVIDIA G-Sync displays. Even the larger 27-inch 1080p FreeSync display is only $50 more at $189.99 total.

So while the graphics cards offer similar performance at 1080p and 1440p, the monitor prices completely change the game. Spending $270 on the graphics card, and another $200+ just to have G-Sync is simply not worth it.

As it stands, AMD's Radeon RX 580 and FreeSync monitor is the best GPU + monitor bundle you can buy, running great looking games like Prey at 100FPS+ at 1080p and 60FPS+ at 1440p.

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